A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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June (4 of 7)
The council of Ireland to the protector.
May it please your highness,
Having lately received a petition from Brian Mc Gwire, an Irish inhabitant in the province of Ulster, praying, in consideration of his eminent services in the time of the rebellion performed in the behalf of the commonwealth, and of his great sufferings thereby, he might receive in compensation thereof such marks of favour, as was intended him by the late commissioners of the commonwealth by their order of the 21st of April 1654, for a settlement of his estate of inheritance upon him, together with other lands forfeited to the commonwealth, amounting in the whole to the yearly value of 50l. and having considered thereof, and of the report made in his case by a committee of officers in the army and the committee for transplantation, whereby it is certified, that it appeared unto them by good testimonies produced before them, that the said Brian Mc Gwire (notwithstanding a Papist) was instrumental in discovering the rebellion to sir William Cole knt. late deceased, and that he hath constantly adhered to the English interest to his own great hazard; and forasmuch as he was an aged person, in extreme poverty, and in a very necessitous condition (occasioned by the several plunderings made upon him by the rebels for his faithfulness to the English interest) that a particular mark of favour might be conferred upon him for so singular an example of fidelity and affection to this commonwealth, and that a recommendation thereof might be transmitted unto your highness, which (out of a due sense we have of his well deserving) with all humility is accordingly submitted to your highness's pleasure by
Your highness's most humble servants,
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major-general of the army in Ireland.
The ships appointed to take in the souldiers for Jamaica have been longer in their preparations heere then was expected, but now they are ready, and will saile this weeke, and their stay will in some measure be made amends for by the goodnes of the provisions they are furnished with.
His highnes was pleased to promise to the bishop of Armagh a lease of the greatest part of his bishopricke for twenty one yeares, for his support, and as a token of his highnes acceptance of the great and unwearyed paynes in the worke of the ministrye, and assertinge the truth of the protestant profession against that of popery. But he beinge dead before it was finished, his highnes continues his good intentions towards his grand-children, the children of sir Timothy Tyrrell, who marryed the only child of the bishop, and had never a penny with her; and hath pitched upon three mannors, parcell of the bishoppricke of Armagh, to lease unto hym for twenty one yeares. The mannors are Armagh in the county of Armagh, Fermanferkin in the county of Louth, and the mannor of Eniskene in the county of Monahan, with their rights, members, and appurtenances, except tythes, advowsons, and rights of parsonage. But before the lease is to be perfected, his highnes desires to be satisfied from your lordship, what the true value of those mannors and lands are, and for what they can be leased for for twenty one yeares, and what they were worth to be let in 1640; and therefore your lordship may be pleased to give such direction to the officers entrusted in those affaires to informe your lordship truly of the true value of the aforesaid lands in the manner before mentioned, to transmit the same hither authentiquely signed, soe as it may be a ground for his highnes proceedinge thereupon, and to prevent his beinge mistaken in grantinge more then he intends. And your lordship is desired to be very exact herein. And in case your lordship should not thinke it to be soe convenient, to grant these or any of these mannors, but that some other lands were more expedient to be disposed to this purpose, I desire your lordship will be pleased to signifie to his highnes your oppinion therein. And I offer it to your lordship, wheither it might not be fitt, that the counsell in Ireland did not signe the perticuler of the values.
I beleeve your lordship is in great expectation of newes from the fleet; soe are wee too. The last wee heard from them was by a merchant's ship called the King Ferdinando, who came from them the 14th of May, and left them in a good condition, part of them before Cadiz, and part in the Bay of Tanger, takeinge in fresh water. Shee also brought newes, that the peace with Portugall is agreed; but wee haveinge noe letters of it, doe not yet give creditt thereunto.
The French have beseidged Valencienne, a populous place, some fifty miles from Brussels, with 16,000 horse and 17,000 foot, and intend to take it within six weekes. Don John hath not yet his army ready, nor is like to have one able to remove the French. The kinge of Sweden hath besiedged Dantzick both at land and sea, and hath given notice thereof to his highnes, as also to the States Generall, desireing to forbeare all trade thither. The rest of his affaires in Poland are also in a good condition. I perceive Vernon is come over, and is in the west; and I am glad to heare by two former from your lordship, that all thinges are growinge quiett with the Anabaptist. Love and agreement with all that feare the Lord is not only to be wished, but to be endeavoured by all meanes. What the apprehensions are here I shall not trouble your lordship with them, his highnes haveinge at large written to your lordship with his owne hand, and very lately.
(fn. 1) Wee are yet very much troubled with the fist monarchy men and the levellers, who have
their constant meeting to put us into blood. By the levellers I meane those, who pretend
to a republique or popular forme of government. Sir Henry Vane hath lately put forth a
new forme of government (fn. 2), plainely layeinge aside thereby that which now is. I suppose
somebody might have sent it to your lordship. At the first comeinge out of it, it was applauded, but now upon second thoughts it is rejected, as beinge impracticable, and aymeing
in truth at the setting up the long parlament againe. But all men judge, that he hath some
very good hopes, that he shewes soe much courage. His name is not to it, but he doth
acknowledge it to be his. It is certeyne, it doth behove us to have a watchfull eye upon
that interest. I doe not desire to have this part of my letters seene. The major generalls
are gone downe againe, haveinge done nothinge but present to consideration severall things
to be further done by his highnes and counsell, for the further carryinge on their worke in
the severall countyes. Major generall Worsley died here at St. Jamesses upon thursday
last, of whom his highnes and the nation hath had a very great losse, haveinge beene a most
trusty and diligent man. I rest
Your lordship's most humble
and most faithful servant,
Nieupoort, the Dutch ambassador, to secretary Thurloe.
I hope, that your honor hath seen by this time the paper, which I left in the hands of the lords commissioners of his most serene highnes concerning the articles of marine in our last conference; and considering how heartily al honest men beyond the sea doe wish, that the same could bee brought to a happie conclusion, to the mutual satisfaction and welfare of both; I find myselve obliged to beseech your honor, that by your favorable direction I may have the happines to see his most serene highnes, to the end I may in a private audience propound and declare to his highness the true intention and sincere meaning of the lords my superiors touching the said articles; assuring your honor, that I esteem it of great concernment in the present conjuncture to disappoint and frustrate our enemies of their main expectations. I remaine for ever,
Your honor's most humble servant,
Dr. Tho. Horton to secretary Thurloe.
I have againe advised with my lord Fines, and some other friends, concerning my buisines; and they now think it best, that the way by the judges be declined; forasmuch as theise dispensations have in all times bin transacted cum silentio, as matters of priviledge rather then matters of law; and that therefore a motion be made to his highness with his council, by their order to establish me in my place.
For this purpose I have drawne up a forme, not as any prescription, but onely as an hint
and memorandum, which by reason, sir, of the multitude of your more weighty and important occasions, together with the difficulty of my owne personall accesse, I am necessitated
and imbolden'd to present in this inclosed paper; humbly intreating, sir, your assistance and
furtherance of it, with the excuse of this my unseasonable importunity; both of which will
be very agreeable to the many undeserved favors hitherto vouchsafed to, sir,
Your very humble and much obliged servant,
Mr. P. Meadowe, the English encoy at Lisbon, to generals Blake and Mountagu.
I am in expectation of an answer to mine of the 14th instant. They still press me heer, that your lordships would write what courteseyes or civilityes shal be interchanged betweene the fleetes, their armado staying onely, as they say, till your lordships declare your sence concerning it. I have sent down Mr. Bird to take further order concerning the exchange of the gold aboard the Saphire for silver. I desire to know from your honours, when the frigotts shall be dispatched for England, that Mr. Maynard may be in a readinesse there with my letters. I am
Lisbon, 16/26 June, 1656.
Mr. P. Meadowe to secretary Thurloe.
Being aboard the generals, I found general Blake satisfied with the peace, but general Mountague somewhat scrupulous, nay, which was more, he told me, that I should have had more thank at Whitehal, if I had not concluded it. This, methought, was cold entertainment for al my travel and care in this busines; and yet he pretended these two grounds, first, that it was not done within the limit of the five daies: secondly, his highnes was dishonoured by the murtherous attempt upon me. To the first I confess the treaty, as I remember, was ratified the third day after the expiration of the five, but would have been sooner, if there had been a frigat, as your honour supposed, ready to take me aboard. Besides my instruction no where nulled my power after the laps of the term prefixed. It saies onely, you are immediately to take your leave (this I did) and return home: But I could not doe it without a ship; and in case you have satisfaction upon the treaties; it does not say, in case you have satisfaction within the time limited; so that I have acted in a way of conformitie to the intention of his highnes; why els was I sent hither ? and consistently with the letter of my instruction; neither could I have answered the contrary, in case I had refused his majestie's ratification. To the second, I confes his highnes is dishonoured, but what order had I to defer the peace upon such an occasion ? Is not his highnes still free to demand satisfaction ? which if desired, can a particular treaty privilege the king of Portugal against the violation of the law of nations ? But then consider, if the Brasil fleet had got home, and the treaty not ratified, in what condition had his highnes affairs been in ? and it may well be considered, for 'tis three to one, as general Blake himselfe affirms, that our fleet meet not the Brasil fleet, though they made it their sole worke.
But in case we had met them in a hostile way, they would have run for it twenty waies;
and had we taken 30 or 40 of their ships, how little of the spoile would have been cleared
to his highnes chequer, the last attempt of the same nature witnesses: besides the king of
Portugall would at the same time have seized to the value of at least 6 or 700000 l. of
English men's estates within his dominions. But no more of this, which yet is extorted
from me for my own defence; and if any displeasure be reflected upon me by this meanes,
I doubt not, but your honor will screen me. 'Tis sure the generals would willingly be
upon action, but there's no opportunitie. I thought at their first coming, they would
have presently attempted at lest to fire the ships in Cadiz; but when it came to it, they
could not find one in the fleet, that durst undertake to steer a ship to the Carraccas. I
propounded to general Blake, as that which had been whispered to me from others, the
plundering Majorca; but be approves not of it; or els the attempting Bayona, because
the Portugueses may possibly be willing to share in such an enterprize, having garrisons
very neare it. As for the Spaniards, sure enough they entend nothing less than to come
out and fight. If this Spanish warr continues, it may possibly be worthy of consideration,
how to drive a secret trade with Spain by the way of Portugal from Pharo, paying the king
some little custome. Surely nothing wil more discontent the people in England then the
not sending of them manufactures. I have returned the monies as much I could in pieces of
eight, and the rest in Portuguese coin. I have wrot to Mr. Noel, and taken some order
with Mr. Mainard, for the changing it into sterling money; wherein if any benefitt can be
made, which I am sure can be but smal, I suppose his highnes will not take notice of such
a trifle. I wish all were so good thrists for his highnes, as I have been; but I heare the
commissioners of the navy have contracted with a merchant for the supply of the fleet with
300 tun of beverage wine from the Maderas at 18 l. per tun, and I'le undertake to supply them
from hence with as good for 10 l. a tun, which is good odds, besides the trouble and charge
of sending for it so far. But I may justly feare, I am as troublesome to your honor with my
impertinent teadiousness, as my lord chamberlain was to me with his speculations, as you
cal him in your letter, when he insisted, that no less than 7 or 8 material alterations be
made in the 11th article concerning the Brasil trade. Pardon this boldnes to
Lisbon, 16/26 June, 56.
The letter to my lord Lambert was sent to me open with a flying seale, which after I had perused, I closed up. But Petrus Fernandez Mountero, who is chief judge in all criminal causes, coming to me a day or two since, he entreated me, that he might see it; he wondred not a little at some passages. I entreate your honor to excuse me to my lord Lambert for breaking it open upon this occasion, with the tender of my most humble service to his lordship.
Generals Blake and Mountagu to Mr. P. Meadowe.
We have received your letter of the 16th instant, and in answer of that part of civilities to be interchanged with the Portugall armada, we thought we should not have needed to be perticular therein, having declared ourselves ready to manifest all civilityes to them, and are very sorry there should be any stay upon that accompt for satisfaction; wherein (seeing they desire it) you may lett them know, that at their coming forth, we shall strike our standard, and salute them first, exspecting the like returne from them, and shall on all other occasions give them reall demonstrations of our respect and friendship. We have returned Mr. Bird to finish what remaines in the exchange of the moneys, which being done, we shall (God willing) dispatch the frigotts for England, whereof we desire Mr. Maynard may have notice. We are
Your very loving friends,
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
I have written soe much in cipher, that I am a wearye of it, and I doubt it will cause you too much trouble, to but a little purpose, as the case now stands; wherefore I shall proceede by words at length. Wee have had the wind full in our teeths ever since wee sett saile from Cales, and very boysterous, whereby wee have spent a greate many topp-masts, and sayles; yet in the voyage (as I have written before) wee had the good fortune to meete captain Loyd, the 3d of May; and as soone as we had received him on board, wee thought fitt to dispatch the Saphyre away (which is a fregate that sailes beyond any of us by a wind) for Lisbone, to desire the agent, that by all meanes he would come off, and lett us have some conference together. (Wee had also sent the Phœnix fregate, before wee came out from Cales, away before us, upon the same errand) Thus wee makinge all the way wee could possiblye in such crosse weather towards Lisbone river, wee gott up betweene the cape St. Vincent, and cape Pitcher, May 27; and in the morninge that same day, a merchant shipp came in to us from Lisbone, bound for Tituan, and brought us a letter from Mr. Meddowes, signifeinge that the 5 dayes were expired, and noe satisfaction given him, nor like to be; whereupon wee concludinge wee should be putt to make a businesse of it, sent forthwith a catch to Cales to call of the reare admirall, and 9 ships more with him, to ply up to us with all possible speed, leavinge 6 fregates equall sailers to ply at sea too and againe before Cales, to prevent (as well as they could) furniture for shippinge to pass into Cales, and to guard our merchants, who hearinge of the fleett's being before Cales, might perhapps passe thereby with more confidence, and in case wee had drawn all off, might be surprized by the Spaniard.
June 1st wee then plyenge neere cape Pitcher, the Saphyre (who had recovered Cascales in due tyme, and sent his errand to Mr. Meddowes a day or 2 before the treatye was concluded) came in to us, and Mr. Maynard in her, who informed us of the kinge's agreeinge to the peace, and the deliverye of the ratifications, and that the agent desired wee would not come into Cascales with above 2 or 3 shipps for givinge an occasion of jealousye; but we continued our course, and June 3d at 7 in the evening we came to an anchor in Cascales rode, and before the river at Lisbone, with all our shipps in companye, and now of the expected fleets at Lisbone come in before us not one shipp. June 4th Mr. Meddows, and most of our Lisbon merchants, came on board us, and also a Portugese gentleman of the order, with a letter to us from the kinge, only of complement, and expressinge great confidence of our friendship and amitye, and gladnesse of the peace. This day was very stormye, and soe they staied all night on board us; and June 5th they are gone off againe.
The generall Blake and myselfe have been in great straights in this businesse; on the one hand, consideringe the vile falsnesse of the Portugalls, and aversion to make good what he had agreed to by his plenipotentiaryes, the delayes he aimed att, and endeavoured to make us tye our own hands (contrary to our dutye) his slippinge the opportunity of the last 5 dayes (which wee understood to conclude the matter, and that the agent's power to accept his ratification was then determined) the horrible indignitye done to our nation in the endeavouringe to assassinate Mr. Meddowes, for which no justice hath been done (only a little flourish of regret therat) allthough (as I heare) it is almost in the mouth of every Portugese in Lisbone, that it was Don Pantaleon himselfe, and his brother, the conde de Torre, that acted that base part; and also consideringe the possibilitye, that this peace, which is made with soe ill a will, after all wayes of diversion attempted, and not agreed to, until our fleete was discovered to turne up towards Lisbone, at the cape St. Vincent; I say considering it's possible, that this peace may be delusive, and not hold longe, when he has reaped the benefit of his fleete coming safe home (which are the richest that ever he had) and can repaire himself, when he will, of our merchants for a greater summ then wee are like to have. Add to all this, that wee could not but eye a remarkable providence leadinge us from Cales (even besides our instructions) directly in order to those new ones wee received by captain Loyd, and conductinge us hither soe opportunely for service, and the probabilitye of relieving England with a far more considerable supply then what was agreed of by the treatye, and the likelyhood of bringinge them to a better peace afterwards, upon the most steadye ground of necessitye; besides the assertinge the honour of our nation, which seemed to need it, havinge before beene stained by such base assassinations in other nations, and not yet vindicated; and the faire opportunitie our present posture with Spaine gave us for the endeavoringe this.
One the other hand, consideringe that the peace was concluded, and the ratifications mutually exchanged, wherby the faith of nations were engaged; that our last instruction had a clause, wherby it became void, whensoever (before any act of hostilitye begun) Mr. Meddowes should signify to us, that he had received satisfaction (the which he hath done both in writinge and also in person) and the puttinge our advantage to the hazard of event, which now (how little soever) was a certaintye; it being possible that the weather, or the endeavors of the Portugals by advise to theire fleete of their danger, and directions thereupon to them to stay at the Westerne islands, or some other accident might frustrate our expectations of dealinge with them to purpose; and then would certainly render us very culpable, and be a disadvantage to our nation (though I must needes say all probability was on the other hand, and if ever such an attempt was to be made, consideringe all things, this seemed to be such an opportunitye, as, then which, a better could not be hoped for; and I believe is never to be expected) yett on these considerations our judgments are swayed to make the best of what is done, and keepe to our instructions; in order whereunto wee have desired Mr. Meddowes to endeavour to putt the money on board of us, without which we cannot see any security at all in what is done; and when that is performed, our hands are tyed; wee shall dispatch some frigates away to you with it, and supply the fleete with liquor here, and repaire to our old station, expecting what God shall lead us to in pursuance of our primary instructions. Wee shall consider also, whether wee cannot doe some service upon the Spaniard in the parts of Galicia, where wee understand many Dunkirkers harbour themselves, and a few of our shipps may be enough to attempt them, and not hinder the returne of the body of our fleete where wee were.
You have at this time the Portugall upon his knees, and if wee had authoritye to make further demands, wee might aske what we would (almost) and he durst not but performe it, or his country would be all in rebellion. But this is to noe purpose, the season beinge past.
I have beene too tedious, I feare, especially since all this might have been communicated to you by captain Lloyd by word of mouth; but excuse it this once. I am not like in hast to expatiate soe much againe. Many other thinges have passed here, which I leave to the relation of captain Lloyd, who knowes our whole businesse exactly well.
Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
My last unto you was of the 20th currant, giving you notice, that the magistrates of this place had not received me in due forme, occasioned by the solicitations and bad advice of some of our nation that reside heare, who not satisfied with theire raylings only, but have raysed a company of people to affront mee, which hath occasioned mee to keepe my lodging for some time; and to the end your honnor may know what fort of persons they are, I have thought sit to send you the inclosed papers, by which you may the better understand theire proceedings, the which you shall have attested in a more larger manner, if you require it. I can as yet learne nothing of our fleete. The barke that I have here prepared to carry the packet to our admiralls, is yet here detained by contrary wynds, not any ships or gallies as yet ariving at Thollon. So for present I humbly take leave, and remayne
Your honnor's servant,
At this instant I am advised, that my oposers, to put a coullor to their resusall of receiving mee, pretend, that I intend to draw a custome extraordinary, that might be prejudiciall to the trade; and to that effect they have made a kind of an attestation, which they have caused to be signed by a parcel of people of low condition, and of theire owne stampe; but I beseech your honnor to have other thoughts of me, for I never made any demand of any custome, and have always had the resolution not to draw so much, as he that was consil before; not desiring the charge for interst sake, but merely to uphold the trade, as most concerning myself and friends, and to render service to his highness and the nation, as occasion shall present.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
Having not any from you this post, I shall onely give your honour the truble of lookinge over the inclosed papers and extracts of intelligence; allsoe that of some few observations noted by me, as the causes of the great decay of the trade of the woollen manufacture in theise parts, if you thincke fitt to present them to the councell, and thence to be referred to the committe for trade. It's probable notice hath beene taken allready of all the perticulars of that I mention; but that beinge unknowne to mee, and that I conceive it my duty humbly to represent these thinges to the councell's consideration, I have presumed to doe it as breesly as I could, to avoyde trouble. Truly if some good and speedy course be not taken, that all wollen manufacture may come as well made and as cheape to the stranger as they can make them, they will soone out England of that trade in theise parts. I wrote a while since to Mr. Lloyd, the company's deputie at London, of which I send inclosed a copie, requestinge, that at your leasure you would read it over, in case that Mr. Lloyd should come to your honour about it. I doubt not but the charge and proofes against Mr. Townley sent the 3d instant unto you, are come safe to hand, and that he hath, or shortly will be called to answer his charge. I hope per next post to give your honour an accompt of a good intelligence layd where you desired it. It's heere sayd by letters from the Hague, that the States Generall had agreed and resolved 5 mayne points: 1. that their ships shall not be visitted by yours: 2dly, that Danzick shall be affisted: 3dly, that 30 saile more shall be forthwith equipped: 4ly, that 40 new friggats shall be built: 5ly, that 2 regiments of foote more shall be speedily leavied; but if it be soe, I presume you have notice thereof. Some thincke the king of Sweden will be hard put to it this summer. Soe much seemes to me to bee hinted at in the paper of newes from Elbinge. I shall not further detayne you, but to prosesse myselfe
Hamb. 17th June, 1656.
Some few observations touching the reasons of the present decay of the trade of the woollen manufactures of England in Germany, and the Low Countries, humbly offered and submitted to the consideration of the lords of his highness right honourable councel at Whitehall by his resident at Hamburgh.
1. Of late years, for want of care and inspection at home, all forts of cloth and woollen manufacture hath come over to the Dutch very much salsified, which hath put them upon setting up clothing amongst themselves.
2. During the late wars, great quantities of fullers earth were suffered to be carried out of tha land by the Dutch, if to this day it be not by stealth transported. Likewise great numbers of cloth-workers, weavers, dyers, cottons, and pressers, who came into Holland and Germany in time of wars, and not yet returned or recalled, do teach the Dutch (especially in Silesia) the mystery of clothing, and have so advanced them therein, as that this last year there came above twice as much cloth out of Silesia to Hamburgh, as came from England.
3. The new draperies, as bays, serges, Spanish cloth, kersies, Northern dezers, &c. being not yet reduced at home to any rule for length, breadth, and weight, but every one lest at liberty to make them as they please, is by some judicious merchants judged a great hindrance to the cloth trade in general.
4. The Dutch have of late years endeavoured to make their cloth after the English manner, and have put the English arms upon the covers of the worst and falsest made cloths, which they transport for Russia, and other parts, to lessen the esteem of the English cloth in foreign countries.
5. The strangers in England have, and still do (as I understand) ship out greater quantities of all sorts of cloth without paying double custom, to the great detriment of the state and company; in which the clothier (as I hear) is very faulty, who to pass off his cloth the better to the stranger, covenants to ship it out for him.
6. Another cause (and not the least, as I humbly conceive) is, that all sorts of woollen manufactures (at least the cloth of England) comes so charged with customs, impositions, and imprest, as that the Dutch can make it at home, and have it cheaper brought to them by their own people, than the merchants of the company can afford it, though the strangers should pay double customs in England.
It manifestly appears, that the cloth trade in Germany is much decayed, for at the company's first coming to Hamburgh, they vended in one year from eighty to one hundred thousand cloths, and now not above 20,000 cloths in a year; when most thought it to be true, that then the company vended less of the new draperies than now they do, but not to equal the decay in their sales of broad cloth.
I shall not presume to hint at the expedients and ways to remove these and the like obstructions in the cloth trade of England, but submit it to better judgments; not doubting but the company of merchants adventurers (as they cannot but be sensible of the great decay of trade in these parts) will propound suitable remedies to your lordships, and the honourable committee for trade, that strangers rob not England of so precious a jewel.
The president and council at Jamaica to admiral Goodsonn.
The courte marshall sate this day aboute lieut. coll. Archbould's businesse, and entered into a very serious and solemne debate of the matter, being words much tending to seditione and of a dangerous consequence; and the depositions of the witnesses being againe sworne in courte, and theire verry solicitations in this thing to give satisfaction as well to his highness, whose profest servants they are, as to the fleete, with whom they infinitely desire to keepe amity and friendship, soe necessary, being imbarqued in the same cause with them; but for as much as they have taken alsoe into consideration the person, demeanour, and in tegrity of the partie accus'd, eminently knowne to them, that serv'd the commonwealth these many years past, and by others by his civill, Christian, and religious conversation heere beleeved, and they satisfied; and for as much as capt. Colborne did beefore these words supposed to be spoken, discover a discontent in the lieut. coll. which hee said was an old grudge between them; and for as much as the said major had confessed, that hee veryly thought the lieut. coll. had noe such designe, nor intended, as hee spoake; and because it was not, nor cannot bee proved, that the said lieut. coll. hath had any such discourse with any of fleete nor army about any such thing, nor is the thing pretended any with seasable in itself; and for that the said capt. Colborne made no discovery thereof in thirteene dayes; and then upon an order to march into the contry, at which hee was much displeased, and hath since added much of the discontents of the fleete and the forte, which the commander in chiefe doth avow hee never mentioned to him when hee first gave him his information; and for that all the members in courte have offered the ingagement of their lives for him, and most, if not all, the officers in the army will, I am confident, do the like; they are resolved to send the examinations and charge to the protector, and expect his further pleasure therein; only they have desired major Smith and capt. Wilbraham to acquainte your honour therewith, and to desire you to bee pleased to call some of the captains of the fleete, to know or declare, whether they apprehend any danger to themselves of this supposed conspiracy; and if they please to offer them, what security of officers in the army (none excepted) for the faithfullness and integrity of the lieut. coll. as they shall propose or desire. Wee are sorry at this time of fullness of business with you, to intreate this interruption of your greate affaires; but finding it necessary for their satisfaction at sea, at whom the designe seemes to poynt, wee have given you this trouble, remaineing
June the 17th, 1656.
Admiral Opdam to the States General.
High and mighty lords.
My lords, My last was of the 20th current from the Texell; since which time we lay puzling till Friday night last, at which time the wind blew south-south-west, which brought us presently into the Sound, where I found riding vice-admiral de Ruyter with 28 ships of war, making with those three, which lay before Copenhagen, 31 ships, and with our three in all 34. As soon as the wind will serve, I am resolved to go with your high and mighty lordships fleet at anchor before Copenhagen, the better to confer with your high and mighty lordships ambassadors upon all occasions; and likewise to be at hand, in case any thing to be done for us upon the east sea. Being newly arrived, I am not sit to advise your high and mighty lordships of the constitution of the ships here.
The commissioners for Cheshire to secretary Thurloe.
We desire it may be made known to his highness and council, that according to the appointment of our last general meeting we did again this day here meet (to put in execution, amongst other our instructions, the order of his highness and council to our late major general, directed of the seventh of March last, for the calling for new particulars from the persons taxed) in hopes, according to the major general's appointment, that we should have here enjoyed his company, to whom only the same order was directed; but instead thereof find (to our no small grief) that it hath pleased God to deprive the commonwealth and us of him, which is a loss we cannot but be deeply affected with, having had so large and manifest experience of his sincere, zealous, and upright endeavours, both to the discharge of his trust, and comfort and satisfaction of good mens spirits. And since providence had so ordered, we did take into consideration, what now was in our power to act upon the said order; and some of us are unsatisfied therein; yet nevertheless have thought sit to receive the particulars of several, which we have ordered to be kept, and not proceeded in, till we shall receive further directions from his highness and council, and shall crave the same, toge ther with directions upon the other orders and instructions; whereto we shall forthwith yield our utmost obedience and assistance. Sir, we take leave, and shall subscribe ourselves
Your affectionate friends and servants,
Tuesday, 17th June, 1656.
Upon reading a letter from the council in Scotland, in answer of a letter from the council of the 20th of May last, touching the estate of the lord of Cranston, and upon the special request of his majesty the king of Sweden, by his ambassador extraordinary to his highness the lord protector, Ordered by his highness the lord protector and the council, that the estate of the lord Cranston in Scotland be absolutely discharged from confiscation.
The protector's letter to the chief commanders in America.
We have received your letters of the 24th of January by the captain of the Wildman, with some other papers inclosed therein; whereby you give an account of the state and condition of the forces both at land and sea, and of our other affairs at Jamaica, which is such, as doth still administer unto us further cause to be humbled before the Lord, and to search out what his mind may be in this his said dispensation. And we do observe, that the hand of the Lord hath not been more visible in any part of this rebuke, than in taking away the hearts of those, who do survive amongst you, and in giving them up to so much sloth and sluggishness of spirit, that they care not to take pains, either for their security against the enemy, or for providing food for themselves; chusing rather to die with hunger, or expose themselves to be devoured by the Spaniard, than to labour for their own preservation in any kind, although they are in a place abundantly stored with provisions of all sorts, and very capable also of being fortified and secured against any attempt of the enemy. Nay, some former letters do inform us, that great quantities of the provisions sent from hence have been spoiled and lost, for want of a little care and pains to make convenient places for desending them from the weather, besides what thereof hath been imbezzled and otherwise squandered away through negligence. I do acknowledge these things have very great discouragements in them, but yet having fully considered the true state of this business, and after a solemn seeking of the Lord, seriously advised with our council thereupon, we could not satisfy ourselves to desert this cause, wherein we are engaged against the Spaniard in the West Indies, but have resolved in his fear (we hope) to prosecute the same, according as he shall afford us means and opportunity; and to that end are dispatching away unto you a supply of men and provisions. The number of men will be two regiments, consisting of 1200; and with them, or soon after them, will be sent provisions for 6000 men for four months. That, which we judge most adviseable in the first place, in order to the ends aforesaid, is, to secure yourselves in such place or places in Jamaica, as you shall judge most healthful, secure, and otherwise commodious; as also to erest plantations, which may afford food and other provisions necessary for the life of man, whereof we see by your last letters you have had some consideration, and made propositions to that purpose to the officers and soldiers; whereof we hope you will have seen some fruit before this comes to your hands. And we do not only consent to the encouragements you offer by those propositions to such as shall plant, but give you power to allow such further terms, as you shall judge reasonable and just, having therein respect to the profit and good of the state as much as in you lies.
As the situation of the harbour, where you now are, is described in the maps brought to us, it may be made most secure against any attempt the Spaniard can make, which is therefore first to be fortified. I perceive you are making one fort upon the point of land, lying upon the entrance into that harbour, which should be made very strong and substantial. Other places there are, as well upon some of the small islands lying about the mouth of the harbour, as upon the main land, which seem very convenient to be fortified; but you, who are upon the place, can better judge what of this nature is to be done; and therefore we leave it to you, desiring that no time may be lost in doing what shall be necessary.
We have also had some consideration of what other harbours there are upon the island lying next to St. Jago, and whether it might not be convenient for some part of the forces to be removed thither, as well for the securing any such place, as likewise that such a course might tend to the recovery of their health, wherein they questionless have been much prejudiced by lying altogether in one place, and infected by dead bodies unburied, and other stenches. But this also must be lest to you; only we judge it very necessary, that some commodious place be thought of by you for the 1200 fresh men intended to be sent from hence, where they may be kept from those already there, to prevent infection and sickness.
Another thing, which we observe in your letter, is the great disorder, which hath been in hunting and killing of cattle, and in ordering and dressing the flesh, when it was taken, every one having been lest to do what seemed him good therein; by means whereof many more were destroyed than was necessary (a great part of what was killed being left to putrify, and that which was eaten, being fresh and but half boyled or roasted, had bred sickness and diseases in the army) besides what other excesses and disorders have done; and it seems this inconvenience hath also followed, that the cattle, which do remain, are all run into the mountains and woods, that it is very difficult to take any of them.
Therefore your first and special care must be to put the victualing and providing for them in some settled and orderly course, both as to flesh, and also bread, such as the country will afford, that so they may have what is sufficient for the quantity, and good and wholesome for the quality; a thing, as we judge here, to be done without any great difficulty, you being in a country, which without question abounds with all necessary provisions. And if this be not taken care of in time, it will not be possible for you to have any comfortable being there, or for us to carry on our design. And we hope that our tenderness and respect, which we have had to the army there, will not make them remiss and negligent in what is their duty for their own safety and preservation. We know you will do what belongs to you, and trust that the soldiers will again (through the goodness of God) recover their spirits, and readily comply with you in these necessary things, and what else shall be for their own good and our service; for besides the great charge we are at in sending provisions from hence, there is great uncertainty in respect of the wind and weather, which may so fall out, that it may not be possible for us to send unto you timely supplies. And therefore we desire you, that all which is possible may be done to improve the natural advantages of the country for food and provisions, that it may be rather a magazine of victuals for such men, as may be sent thither for further work, than be in want for the support of its own inhabitants.
As concerning the fleet, you know what a vast charge we are at for the maintaining so great a fleet there; especially seeing there hath not been an opportunity of service, such as was expected. That, they have been most useful in hitherto, hath been in desending the army, and deterring the enemy from making any assault upon them; but when they shall have in some measure fortified themselves, we hope such of them, as are yet useful, may intend other service at sea in these parts; and it is referred unto you to consider, whether some of them, who are most sluggish and defective, may not be sent home, concerning which further of our resolutions shall be communicated to you. The fleet, which the Spaniard sent from hence in March, consisted of about 10 or 11 men of war, and 17 or 18 merchant men; and our best information is, that it is but his ordinary fleet sent for the management of his trade; but not knowing, but that it may be made use of for the transporting and landing men upon you, we thought sit to signify thus much to you, that you may provide for your own safety in all events, as well for desending yourselves at home, as for taking all opportunities to attempt upon this fleet, or any other, as upon intelligence you shall find most adviseable. As we had writ thus far, we received yours of the 13th of March by the Grantham, whereby we see, that the Lord hath been pleased to smile upon you in some measure, in respect of the health of the soldiers; and we desire to acknowledge the goodness of God to us and you therein, and hope it is an earnest of further mercy. We perceive you are already encouraged thereby to enterprise some what upon the enemy, and to put the soldiers into a posture of action. In the mean time we are very sorry to see the unworthy carriage of some of the officers, who instead of encouraging their soldiers in the undertaking of any worthy or honourable action, are upon all occasions ready to provoke them to discontent; and, though with a dishonour to the cause of God in their hands, and disservice of the nation, to necessitate you to quit your possession of that island. We desire your special care in applying all fit remedies to that spirit, and as well by giving all due and fit encouragement to those, whom you shall find capable thereof, as also by discountenancing and punishing those, who shall persist in these unworthy practices. And the better to settle the minds both of officers and soldiers to intend the work of that place, we judge it necessary, that something may be published by the commander in chief, that no licence or liberty of leaving the army shall upon any terms be granted. And upon this occasion we have thought it fit to write a letter to the commander in chief, and the rest of the officers, which comes herewith.
We are very sensible of the timely notice you have given us of this spirit, and doubt not of your care in the suppressing of it, as also of your faithful and prudent management of the trust committed to you, through those many difficulties, which it hath pleased the only wise God to exercise you with. We do assure you, that we shall always retain a due sense thereof.
Lockhart, embassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
All my late addresses to his eminence for audience have brought me to no other return but delayes and new promises, which are payed in no better coyne then that of renewed excuses; so that by this I can say nothing worthie of the trouble of reading.
Sir, I humblie beseech you may beleeve, that the abrupt hint I gave in my last (of my
convictione, that his highnesse businesse did suffer by my want of fitt abilities to carry it on)
did onely proceed from my zeale for his service: no other consideration cowld have extorted
a confession so much to my own disadvantage. And if my zeale hath had too great a mixture of indiscretion in it, I earnestlie pray, that you may pardon that amongst the many other escapes of,
Your most humble and obedient servant,
An intercepted letter of sir John Ferkeley to Mrs. Davis.
My dearest heart,
I Have received none from you by this post. Your last I have answered already. We have at last advertisement by the messenger, that hath been so long in Flanders, that there is nothing as yet concluded, and that my master's brother desireth nothing of him as yet, but that he should not serve in this country, which is well for me; for all hands agree, that all means whatsoever will be used, when we come there, to separate me and my master. I cannot devise, what pretence they can have, unless that they would have it believed, that I am so partial to this place, as I could not join with that, if there were a good occasion for it; which is very false, for I am ready to do it, when any sober honest man shall judge it reasonable; and I believe my opinion would be as agreeable to them, as any they meet withal amongst us. Yea, if he could be induced to send for me thither, I would go, and shew him the way of trading, I have so long approved, which I am much persuaded he would be glad to see; but I believe this cannot be effected but by your husband's recommendation, which will require much time; but better late than never.
An intercepted letter.
I Never receaved any letter but one by your brother Richard. The keepers have greate hopes of to setle such a trade now in England, as may give them encouragement to returne for the setling themselves there againe; and if you can tell any thing, that may contribute thereunto, you will obliege me in giveing me notice of it, and you shall finde your owne accounte in it too.
For newes, all that is here spoaken off is, that Valentiene is hard pressed by the French, who have finished their lyne, are strongly intrenched, and have begun two approaches. Don John resolves notwithstanding to assaulte them in theyr trenches, and for that purpose has gotten together 12,000 horses, and 14,000 foot, besides all the force of the gentry of Flanders; and this day or to morrow will be the day of this greate attempt.
Him, whome they call here the king of England, seems to have great hopes; and the 6000 Germans, that are now come into Flanders, with 6000 more, that are to followe suddenly, are to be for him. He has some friends, as I heare, in the Almigran.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Not only this morning, but also this afternoon till past six of the clock, there hath been an assembly of the states of Holland, as also of the States General; and all about the business of the Baltic sea. And it is clearly seen, that there is a division amongst them, not only to cause the fleet to act, as to assist the city of Dantzick; but and for the one and the other there are some commissioners, who are not instructed.
Yesterday there happened nothing considerable; only that the commissioners of the admiralty did endeavour and desire to have leave to return to their own homes; but they were ordered not to stir from hence.
They write from Dantzick of the 14th of June, that the king of Sweden having commanded the army under his brother and gen. Wrangell to relieve Warsaw, was returned with 3000 men before Dantzick, and having viewed the fortification of the Hoost, was gone to attempt something upon the fort of Weysselmunde, or upon that between them two, which is between the city and Weysselmunde.
The present commotion in the isle of Walcheren was occasioned by this, as the boors say; that the administrators of the dykes (aggerum maritimorum præfecti) have ill managed the monies of the dykes, having caused the boors to contribute yearly great sums of mony, as for the maintaining of the dykes; and besides this have taken up at interest 160 thousand pounds Flemish; of all which they desire to have an account given them, and will have besides administrators of their own corporation.
They are all up in arms, and keep court of guards day and night at all passages, for fear least they shall cause military forces to come into the island to chastise them. It is said, that underhand this commotion is backt and nourished by some persons of quality, who do not find their ends in the magistracy. After a conference between the commissioners of the lords States General, and those of the council, upon what is past at Rynberk, is come a letter from the elector of Cologne, which being in high Dutch, was given to be translated. It is conjectured, that it is concerning the magistracy at Rhynberk, for to that effect was also exhibited a memorandum from the commissioners of the elector of Cologne, which is remaining unread, till such time that the said letter shall be produced. In the mean time I do not find, that Holland in their great consultation concerning the Baltic sea hath made any mention concerning the alliance to be made with the said and other electors and princes upon the Rhine.
The ministers of Denmark have signified, that the lord Rosenwinge hath order to retire, demanding for this end audience to take his leave, which is appointed him for to-morrow: we shall see, whether he will speak any thing then of the fleet, which is in the Sound, and in the passage of the same.
The earl of Egmont hath demanded a safe conduct to come hither, upon which is resolved, that he and many other subjects of the king of Spain have no need of a pass nor safe conduct to come hither. The letter of the elector of Cologne doth contain a hot complaint by reason of the changing of the magistracy of Rhynberk, yea with military power; desiring reparation; and the commissioners, at the same time demanded a conference to advise together about some order or regulation; upon which is concluded, that in the first place regard is to be had to a certain resolution, which doth concern this matter. Guelderland and Holland were for the memorandum; Utrecht and Friezland would have a conference, but save the resolution executed.
The lords Rosenvinge and Charisius have had audience, as having been in the same commission at the beginning, but the first signified his departure, giving humbly thanks for his good reception, offering his service; afterwards made no mention of affairs but of that of the remeasuring of the ships, failing and navigating for Norway, wherein being a great fraud, there have been already several complaints made thereof. The lord president returned him an answer, with a reciprocal compliment, with a promise of equitable satisfaction upon the other point. Afterwards were read letters, that came from England and Marienburgh. The lord Nieuport doth still complain, that they will not fall any thing of those two articles concerning the visiting of ships at sea, and the rule of free ship and free goods. And the Swedes assure us, that the Poles have quitted the siege of Warsaw.
The lord Coyet, the Swedish envoy come from England, was yesterday landed before Scheveling. The Swedish commiss. gen. Hosstetter hath been here several days expecting of him, being come hither expresly for him.
The 25th of June being the day of electing new magistrates at Goes, the election fell altogether favourable for that party, that was put in two or three years ago, whereof the lord Common was head, who with his doth now run hazard of being put out. And I am assured, that the said lord Common hath already offered to the lords Crooningen and Vander Nisse to give them the place in the States General; but they will not be contented with it, and by this means the party of the prince of Orange hath again lost a whole citty, and Tolen doth also totter.
They have proposed to give the lord Rosenwinge the ordinary present, which is given to extraordinary commissioners. Holland doth only keep it in suspence, but they will consent to it at last. They have confented to give a chain of gold of 500 gilders, and a medal to him that hath the name of secretary.
The ambassadors at Marienburgh have writ, that the king of Sweden, or his, have now declared themselves inclined to treat and renew the past alliances, applying them to this present time; to which they here do already begin in some sort to give ear.
Generals Blake and Mountagu to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
The arrivall of capt. Lloyd in the Saphire (who came on board us at open sea the 23d of May) was exceeding welcome to us, we being at that time involved in a great difficulty touching the treaty in agitation with the king of Portugall. Wee have mett with other providences also, which might not a little burthen our spirits; as the Spanish fleet not coming forth, nor in preparation for itt (that we can yet learne) contrary to our intelligence in England, and our expectations; the great difficultyes we found to hinder our designe of attempting them, where they lye, and also the difficulty of attempting any thing else upon the Spanyard, that might answer your great preparation in this fleet, and the expectations thereupon. But we hope we have received, or shall obtaine that grace from the Lord, to have rest and peace in his all-wise and most good dispensations; and are much supported in our worke by the consideration of those prayers, which the Lord hath stirred up the hearts of this people to putt up on our behalfe, and which we cannot but judge have obtained much mercy for us in our preservation, which hath been very full and continued unto this present time.
The intelligence your highnesse is pleased to mention concerning the Spanish plate-shipps come into Cadiz, as also the condition of their fleet now at Cadiz, agrees in a great measure with what we have received and transmitted to your highnesse by the Amity friggott, the substance whereof hath been since confirmed to us by severall hands; and we are apt to beleive, that those, who conjecture the Spaniards designe to be delaying to come forth, untill this fleet be necessitated either by the season or want of provisions to returne home, have very rational grounds so to thinke. Concerning the numbers of men sent into the Indyes in his last fleet, we have not intelligence, whereby to give your highnesse any considerable accompt; but as to the supposed effect thereof, that he should thereby be in want of men to defend his principall strengths neere the sea and port townes, your highnesse will hereafter in this letter receive the best accompt we can give of itt upon good information.
When we first received intelligence of the Spanish fleet being in the Carraccas, ourselves and most of the commanders (as they exprest themselves) were very desirous to doe our endeavour to destroy and burne as many of them there, as opportunity might serve for; and in order thereunto we mett together, and discoursed the manageing such a service before we came neer unto Cadiz, intending to be speedy in execution, in case we found the work seasible, and could enquire out pylotts in our fleet to conduct shipps up to them. But when we were come to an anchor in Cadiz bay, and with all expedition had viewed their ships as they lay, and received information from merchants and others concerning them, we found the accesse to them rendred almost impossible by ships ready prepared and placed for to sinke, and chaines crosse the channell, and a very extraordinary preparation of men and guns to desend them. And also at a councell of warre we had such persons examined before us for pylotts, as best knew that place; but not one could be found, that in point of skill durst undertake to conduct a ship into the Carracaes. Whereupon (after many councells of warre for this designe) it was at last resolved, that in the condition they and we were then in, they were not to be attempted. We have written some particulars hereof formerly to the comissioners of the admiraltry, which may helpe to supply wherein this is but generall. Concerning the towne of Cadiz, itt is very large and exceeding well fortified, and hath had much addition in that kinde of late for men. They say, when the towne hath no reenforcing from the maine, that they are able to make at least 10,000 fighting men (some say many more.) But at this time we are informed, that they have in Cadiz towne, and Island, and port S. Maryes, and Rotto (where the duke of Medina is in person) about 40,000 souldiers; and the gaineing of that place may well be esteemed to require a force proportionable to master them.
Some of our ships, who are newly come out of the streights, and have looked into much of the Spanish coast there, and particularly into that of Gibraltar, bring us word, that since our coming from Tangir, they have reenforced that place. Concerning the scituation whereof, and designeing thereupon, your highnesse will receive a more particular accompt from Mr. secretary, and also from capt. Loyd; in which regard we shall passe it over here, that we may be as short as is possible.
As we returned from watering a great part of the fleet at Tangir, we met with letters from
Mr. Meadowe from Lisbone, which did perplex us much; and whereupon we tooke a resolution to make all the haste we could with the great ships to Cascais, there to advise with
Mr. Meadowe, and doe as God should direct us thereupon. But after we had been at sea
2 or 3 dayes, we met with the Saphire and our new instructions by capt. Lloyd (which we
were not a little glad to receive as we exprest above) who hath been with us throughout this
late affaire with Portugall, and been privy to all our transactions, and can fully informe your
highnesse concerning the same. We have also caused copies of all our letters to Mr. Meadowe, and his letters to us, ever since we came into these seas, to be transmitted to Mr. secretary, whereby your highnesse may receive the full accompt of that businesse. Our worke
hath proved to be only the endeavouring to get the money on board, and to dispatch it
away for England, wherein we have not been wanting to the best of our endeavours, though
we could wish the time had not been protracted so long; and if we had conceived it would
have been so, we should before now have dispatch'd away a friggott to give your highnesse
notice of the station and posture of your fleet, whereof the captain can also more fully informe your highnesse. And we shall take care henceforward frequently to send your highnesse according to your commands received by him. The 12th instant (the peace being
concluded with the king of Portugall) are sent away the Fairfax and 6 other frigotts under
the command of capt. Blagg, toward Vigo and Pont Vedra, to endeavour the recovery of the
Cullen, and to destroy and take such ships of the enemye, as shall be found in those ports,
where we understand many of the frigotts of Dunkirke and Ostend do rendezvous. The
Lord prosper and succeed their endeavours. We intend (God willing) with the rest of the
fleet here to be returning to our old station with what expedition conveniently we may, and
prosecute such services as the Lord shall be pleased to direct us unto; haveing a regard to
be in readinesse for to receive your highnesse further commands, which shall alwayes be observed by us as becomes
Your highnesse most obedient servants,